SAPinsider Financials 2018 | Key Takeaways from Prague

JS Irick is the head of development at TruQua Enterprises, LLC.

Greetings from Prague, where I just finished presenting at SAPinsider Financials 2018. In between visiting the castle, bridges, and museums, TruQua presented eight sessions, where conference attendees learned more about SAP Central Finance, S/4HANA, SAPAnalytics Cloud, Machine Learning and Driver-Based Planning. Below are my five key takeaways from SAPinsider Financials 2018. 

1)  It’s not Business Planning. It’s Collaborative Enterprise Planning.
I really like this branding decision, as it empowers customers and consultancies with a strong understanding of the enterprise as a whole.“Destroying data silos” sounds great in the abstract, but without the cross-disciplinary skillset necessary to leverage the unified view of your business, you won’t truly seize the value provided. Drill Back has changed from a Finance-to-Finance concept, to a Finance-to-Business one. HR, Supply Chain, Demand Planning, Trade Promotion all have incredibly rich solutions, and theability to integrate these solutions through the planning process providesunparalleled agility through Collaborative Enterprise Planning.

2) Get busy living in S/4 and SAC.
The SAP message is clear: S/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud are the future. Even if these technologies are years down your roadmap, there are ways to begin seizing value from these technologies right now. SAP Analytics Cloud, with its strong connectivity, provides carve-out planning and analytics scenarios which provide for exceptionally quick time-to-value. From an  S/4HANA perspective, there is a significantly quicker option for S/4HANA Finance with Central Finance, which significantly cuts both the risk and cost. Even with S/4HANA well down the road, working on an Analytics roadmap in addition to your technical roadmap ensures that your journey to the Digital Core will drive true Financial Transformation.

3) SAPinsider conferences provide tremendous access and value.
Well-prepared and well-informed customers will always get the most from their consulting dollar. Looking at the table next to me during a brief pause in “Ask the Experts,” I saw SAP’s Senior Director of Product Marketing for Planning & Analysis, working with customers to define theirAnalytics roadmap with SAC, and SAP’s Global Solution owner for Central Finance, discussing Central Finance strategy and roadmap. Meanwhile, one ofTruQua’s principal Consultants was walking a customer through the selection criteria for Master Data harmonization in Central Finance. Each of these brief discussions provided value more than worth the price of the event. My recommendation is to attend the conference with key questions/areas of interest, and to take advantage of the access provided during the designated times.

4)  The difference between the “haves” and“have-nots” in Analytics is striking, especially in terms of AI/ML.
As a professional, you must be your own best advocate and as your analytics opportunities grow, you must have a vendor and implementation partner who can pierce the veil and provide you with real insight, real education and real enablement.  There are few things more dangerous to your business than blindly following “black box” statistics or non-describable AI. SAP is doing a great job at bringing in these technologies in an explainable way, but it is up to customers to make sure they are constantly striving for transparency in their processes.

5) The future of SAP remains bright.
Visiting the SAP Analytics booth to discuss the latest SAC, S/4HANA, Central Finance and group reporting reaffirmed that the future of SAP is in great hands. Additionally, walking the conference floor and checking in with strong SAP partners such as Vertex and Tagetik showed the power of SAP HANA as a platform and the rewards that SAP’s dedication to integration brings their customers. Visiting one of the world’s great cities and collaborating with bright, engaged SAP and partner team members was inspiring.  The tools that SAP develops allow TruQua to partner with their customers and solve their biggest business challenges.

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BPC 11.0 Demo Series: Part 2 – Revenue and Cost of Sales Budgeting

SAP BPC 11.0 on BW/4HANA is considered to be a next generation planning application that provides business users with streamlined access to vital information.

The below video, which is Part 2 of our six-part SAP BPC 11.0 demo series will focus on revenue and cost of sales budgeting. This includes reviewing gross profit and revenue, updating drivers for sales unit volumes, updating drivers for per-unit sales price, discounts, rebates and cost of sales components, and using SAP EPM and Excel functionality to plan for a new product line.

A transcript is also included.

If you would like more information on how SAP BPC 11.0 can help streamline your business, contact TruQua today at info@truqua.com to learn how.

We will begin by opening entity level budgeting for the European Business unit. As you can see, our home page includes the four entities within Europe. Each entity will need to be planned. We are going to look in detail at Italy.

When opening up a business process for Italy, we see that the business process flow, or BPF shows a series of activities for revenues, HR, expense budgeting, and so on. This allows for easy navigation and these activities can actually be processed in whichever sequence makes the most sense for the user. Normally we would go through them from top to bottom, but we can jump around if need be.

We are going to start with revenue planning, looking at units and rates. The example below shows sales units and the rates of the average selling prices, standard costs, and so on. And out of this will come the net revenue, gross revenue, as well as all of the direct costs and our gross margin.

We see here our profit after direct costs, which is our net revenue minus our cost of goods sold. This is for our Italy business unit showing in local currency, and we see each of the products down the rows, and the 12 months of our budget year in the columns. Now these amounts are comprised of two things on the second sheet.

You can see our units, production units per month, and then on the third sheet we see our assumptions about our rates, our revenue per product, rebates, discounts, and also our direct costs broken down between raw materials, labor, and other direct costs.

In this case, we can update our budget for our Coupe product line and plan a series of product launches. And since we are working in Excel, we have the flexibility of using Excel formulas and copying them directly across the rows.

The rates for our Coupe are very similar to the sedan up above. So again, we can use a simple copy and paste type of function. You also have the flexibility to use VLOOKUP in Excel.

But for the Coupe, we may want to increase our sales rebate as a new product. So we can take our sales rebate line and, using the EPN toolbar, apply a 15% increase of our sales rebates across the board. And then we will save this information.

This is now submitting all of the new figures to the server, and calculating the revenue and direct costs based on these drivers.

Now if we come back over we see our Coupe has been updated with these new figures and all of those calculations are happening directly.

Taking a look at the version comparison report, this shows the version two comparison against version one.

We can see our sales revenue for version two has now been increased with a 6.9-million-dollar variance.

And along with that, our direct costs have increased by 2.3 million dollars. That’s a negative variance because it was a cost, so our total impact on profit is 4.1 million dollars.

And with that we have completed the revenue budgeting.

For more information on TruQua or a more custom demo featuring SAP BPC 11.0, contact us today.

SAP BPC 11.0 Demo Series: Part 1 – Budget Initialization

SAP BPC 11.0 on BW/4HANA is considered to be a next generation planning application that provides business users with streamlined access to vital information.

The below video, which is Part 1 of our six-part SAP BPC 11.0 demo series will focus on budget initialization. This includes an introduction to the Web & Excel user interfaces, copy versions, top-down allocations, HR budgeting driver, and work status and business process flows.

A transcript is also included.

If you would like more information on how SAP BPC 11.0 can help streamline your business, contact TruQua today at info@truqua.com to learn how.

Web & Excel User Interfaces

We will start by looking at the budget initialization process and BPC web user interface from the viewpoint of a corporate planner who will be responsible for initializing the budget. On the left side of the screen, you can see the activities that this planner needs to complete and on the right side of the screen displays a series of charts depicting high level financial analysis. Our example below is displaying product line profitability and revenue details.

 

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

Copy Versions

To move into the corporate planning process, open up the activity at the corporate level on the left side under My Activities Timeline. This will show you the budget initiation activity. The business process flow or BPF within BPC, lays out specific activities that will need to be completed. This should help reduce any training costs for new users as they adopt BPC as a budgeting tool.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

A series of activities can now be completed. In this example we will look at creating a new budget. Whether you are copying from a prior version of the budget or copying actuals from the prior year’s forecast, this activity can be done directly from the end-user interface. This will open up a series of dialogues where you can select a category. In this case, we have selected version one of the budget. You can copy from that source to the destination of budget version two. You will also have to opportunity to select from other prompts, depending on your needs.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

When this process is complete, you can then select to see a version comparison report. In this case the report is showing that version two is the same as version one, which we would expect. As you work through a series of further activities, version two will make updates that bring it closer to a set of corporate targets.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

In this report, we will see comparisons of different budget versions across the P&L. In our example, we have just copied into budget version two and our source is budget version one. Therefore it makes sense that the current variance between these two is zero. You will also see a target in this view, set as a very high-level top-down budgeting process. Within BPC this will be allocated from the corporate level down to the individual business units, companies, and product lines, and through individual departments for the expense budget.

Top-Down Allocations

If you want to change your targets, these can be set again at a very high corporate level. In this example we have our full year revenue, direct costs, and so on. If you wanted to increase your net revenue and direct costs by 5% and use the weight function to increase by 5%, the uplift will be applied across your targets in the template.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

You will then save that data back to the BPC server where it will perform this allocation. Select from a couple prompts for the year to allocate, and that process now is executed on the server from the total corporate level down to the budgeting unit level. To view the adjustment in net revenue, switch back to your version comparison report and refresh. You will now see the adjusted net revenue number. Not only has net revenue increased, but also gross revenue and more throughout the P&L.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

The Activity section on the left side of the screen brings BPC into the Excel user interface, showing users the activities they need to perform. This speeds up the navigation process and makes it very easy to adopt a solution while enforcing a standard process by which users complete their activities. In the context section at the top you can navigate through the data model. You will also find the EPM toolbar with basic features of BPC that are used to access the capabilities of the system.

HR Budgeting Driver

Navigating back to your web user interface, you will find that the list of activities here corresponds to what you see in Excel. These are activities that are performed at the corporate level, where the human capital rates are used in HR or compensation planning as a series of drivers.

The basic model shown in BPC for HR planning includes a couple of components. These drivers are established at a centralized, corporate level by the Finance or HR Department. You will see a set of percentage-based assumptions for certain fringe benefits like health insurance, dental insurance, and more. These are set for each of the positions within your compensation planning model, whether it’s a VP level, director, or supervisor. Across the columns, you will find your different business units and regions where the values need to change by location.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

You can plan expenses, such as car allowances or training planned at a dollar value per headcount. You will also be able to complete a HR planning model that includes salary caps. For example, a salary up to 75,000 would incur certain FICA or Social Security benefit expenses, but anything above that cap would not be subject to the fringe benefit. With these drivers all established centrally, the individual department heads or cost center owners would simply plan the salaries and the headcount for their own department with the fringe benefit calculations flowing through directly.

Work Status and Business Process Flows

The corporate level initialization of the budget is now complete and you can change the status to reflect this under the Activity section on the left. Returning back to your list of activities, you can view the status of the annual budget, tracking the updates from individual business units as they are completed.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation

For more information on TruQua, visit us online or follow us on Twitter at @TruQuaE.

Transforming the User Experience with SAP BPC 11.0

Authored by:
Marius Berner, TruQua Enterprises
Andrew Xue, TruQua Enterprises
Geoffrey Tang, TruQua Enterprises
Eric Weine, TruQua Enterprises
JS Irick, TruQua Enterprises

Introduction:
SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) 11.0 for BW/4HANA reimagines the business end user experience, providing business users streamlined access to their critical information and process.  The user interface has been updated according to SAP Fiori design principles, providing role and acti­vity-based functionality, while continuing SAP BPC’s legacy as a powerful and flexible enterprise planning solution. The revamped landing page dashboard, updated menus, and process optimized navigation are a few examples of the significant improvements that allow users to spend more time on Analytics and less time on reporting. This front-end redesign, paired with more seamless integration capabilities with SAP Analytics Cloud and excel reporting tools, puts the user’s critical data and processes front and center.

This blog examines the most impactful user experience changes that SAP BPC 11.0 brings, in subsequent posts, we will examine the integration, modeling and functional improvements in SAP BPC 11.0.

“A Day in the Life”

Our first look at SAP BPC 11.0 will be through the eyes of Truman Quade. Truman is the North American Sales Manager for Ty’s Edibles Inc., a company which packages and sells meat products to various grocers and restaurants. The company’s sales forecasts are focused around three key products: beef, pork, and chicken. Every month, Truman’s team is responsible for generating the North American Sales forecasts.

After logging into SAP BPC 11.0, Truman is presented with the SAP BPC 11.0 home page. On the home page, Truman can see a list of any pending activities that he needs to complete.

If the first task of the monthly process is to refresh sales actuals for the most recently closed period, Truman will get a reminder in his Activities Timeline to run a package, which then triggers the data update in BPC. The Activities Timeline directly links to the process and reports necessary, and provides an easier way to interact with business process flows.

SAP BPC 11.0’s landing page acts as a dashboard for Truman, who can pin critical charts and KPIs directly to the front page. This provides immediate access to the relevant data that Truman needs to manage his team. In this case, he has created and pinned a bar chart which allows him to better monitor and track his sales numbers.

Seeing an unexpected decline in the July Sales, Truman navigates to the “Favorites” section of the home page to access the sales report and drill down on the BPC data to identify where the discrepancy is.

Noticing an unexpected dip in beef sales during the summer barbeque season, Truman notifies the distribution and trade promotion teams to determine the best strategy for getting beef sales back on track.

Next Truman prepares to generate the sales forecast for the remainder of the year.  The Activity Pane makes it simple to go directly to the necessary processes:

Once the task of loading new sales figures is complete, Truman marks the activity as complete.  The next item appears on the SAP BPC 11.0 Activities Timeline: updating the North America forecast  for the remainder of the year.  Clicking on the activity on his home page will open an input schedule in Excel which he can use to update the projected sales volumes and planned prices for each product in each country in the region.

Truman saves a web version of these input schedules to his Favorites list. This will be useful in the event that he needs to go back and modify the forecast later based on the upcoming discussions with the distribution and trade promotion teams.

In order to more closely monitor the sales numbers, Truman adds a chart to break out sales volumes and revenue to his home page.  This allows him to easily monitor which countries are selling the most product and producing the most revenue, and to understand whether a price increase or decrease is warranted for a given area.

Notable Features of SAP BPC 11.0 on BW/4HANA

As highlighted above, there are several key features which make up the improved SAP BPC 11.0 user experience.

  1. Customizing the Home Page

The home page consists of:

  • A “Favorites” menu, where the user can add links to quickly access various BPC web screens that they may need to reuse frequently in their daily tasks
  • An “Activities Timeline”, which reminds the user of any tasks assigned to them with a deadline attached, and provides the links to complete them.
  • Any BPC web charts or reports that the user has pinned for instant viewing upon opening their Home Page

The user can resize and rearrange these windows to suit their preferences.

2. Favorites Links:

User can add web reports or any BPC11.0 screen to their “Favorites” list.  On each page of the BPC11 web client,  the user simply clicks on the star in the upper right corner of the page.  The user is then able to access that screen directly from their home page.

Once this is done, the user should be able to link directly to that screen from their Home Page.

3. Pinning Web Charts

To create a web chart in SAP BPC 11.0, the user can go to the “Library” screen (the link can be saved to their Favorites) and create a new worksheet that is defined as a Web Chart. This can be built to visualize the data as a bar chart, line graph, or pie chart.

A Web Chart can be pinned to the user’s home page directly by using the thumbtack button in the upper right of the page (pictured below).

Once this is done the chart becomes available for immediate viewing in the user’s home page; they check the data instantly without opening any external web or EPM links, and can visualize their data in the way that is most relevant to their job role.

4. Improved Navigation

In addition to customizing the home page, SAP BPC 11.0 introduces other improvements to the navigation that was seen in previous versions:

  • Hamburger menu: this allows the user to navigate to any of the screens in the SAP BPC 11.0 web client.

This menu remains hidden from view until the user expands it out by clicking the button, allowing them to allocate more screen space towards customizing their home page.

Additionally, the menu allows the user to instantly drill down to the subsequent child pages for each web screen; this improves the design by minimizing the time and the number of clicks it takes to get to their final destination. In the above screenshot, the user can navigate from the Home Page to the Journals page in one click, whereas in previous versions they would have to click through and load multiple pages (“Home”->”Consolidation”->”Journals”). This design also reduces instances of backtracking due to selecting an incorrect parent page.

  • “Breadcrumb” path navigation:

In addition to navigating directly from the Home Page to the bottom of the desired path, SAP BPC 11.0 has also introduced a “breadcrumb” folder path design to easily navigate back through each step of a path.

For example, when looking at a specific BPF activity, the user can use the breadcrumb path to click back to the BPF definition (“Sales Forecast”) or even back to the list of BPFs to select a new one to view/update (“Process Templates”).

5. SAP Fiori based Design

SAP BPC 11.0 was built using SAP Fiori design principles, providing a look and feel that is consistent with modern SAP applications and a focus on providing a visually pleasing tool that is simple and intuitive to the end user.

Conclusion:

With a focus on providing more efficient and more customized navigation options, SAP BPC 11.0 delivers several significant UX improvements upon previous versions. These improvements allow previously under-utilized functionality, such as web reports and business process flows to be better utilized in the planning process. The look and feel has been designed to be consistent with modern SAP applications, and the overall result is a planning solution that is focused on creating a more simplified and easy-to-use solution for the end user.

Leverage Predictive Analytics to Improve Expense Planning in SAP BPC

JS Irick, TruQua Enterprises
Eric Weine, TruQua Enterprises

Lemonade

This blog post is built on content from JS Irick’s recent session at Financials 2017 in Amsterdam.

As businesses grow, so do their expenses, making it more important than ever to create a balanced budget. Using TruQua’s simple scenario of Rosie’s Lemonade (referenced in previous posts: https://www.truqua.com/tips-planning-sap-bpc-part-1-bring-external-pricing-data-sap-bpc-better-sales-planning-using-sap-cloud-platform/), we’ll walk through an example that illustrates how Rosie effectively utilizes linear regression using R, SAP BPC and SAP HANA to better track uniform expenses for her employees.

Rosie wants to use historical data from her expense planning model and forecast data from the headcount model to more accurately forecast her uniform expenses for employees. Using linear regression using R, SAP BPC 10.1 and SAP HANA, her hope is to see that information in a much quicker and streamlined way.

Rosie predicts that the number of employees she hires will also have a linear relationship with the number of uniforms she requires. She also predicts that her sales will have a linear relationship with the number of uniforms she requires, because more sales correlates with more accidents at work.

In order to accurately forecast the expense of her uniforms, Rosie will need to create a predictive model and within this model, Rosie will:

  • Utilize historical data to create her statistical model
  • Use forecast data to populate the model and get an output
  • Leverage BW technologies to read the data model and combine it with the rest of her forecast

So here is a simple report with Rosie’s actuals for the last year including her three Cost of Goods Sold Accounts: Headcount, Sales, and Uniforms.  In addition, you can see the data that has already been forecasted. Rosie will use this data to build the model to predict her spend on uniforms.

 

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Now for Rosie to be able to accurately predict the number of uniforms she will need to provide for her employees, she needs to create a model to carry out forecasting. One of the simplest, but most useful models is called linear regression. The purpose of linear regression is to make a prediction about the future, using data from the past. This method makes several assumptions, but the most important and obvious one is that there is a linear relationship between two (or more) variables. If, for example, every two dollars spent by a company on advertising leads to a hundred dollar increase in sales, regardless of the amount of money spent on advertising, then these variables have a linear relationship.

So now, Rosie is going to use the statistical software R to pull in her data from BPC and use that data to build a linear model. R is an open source software that has a tight integration with SAP HANA that lets you leverage its statistical model.

So first, she’ll call her Historical Data the “SEED” for the model.  Here, we can see the data has been populated. However, Rosie wants these accounts to be columns as opposed to rows. In order to do this, she’ll need to use a reshape library that’s available in R.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Now when Rosie looks at her linear model input, its pivoted nicely. Next, she’ll update her column names.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Once the column names have been adjusted, Rosie can see 15 trials within her model. She’ll then go ahead and build a model and using her “SEED” data, this calculates uniforms as a factor of headcount and sales and will the spend on uniforms.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

So here we can see that for every $1000 dollars Rosie is spending, of that $3 is spent on uniforms and $10 is spent on uniforms per person with a flat startup cost of $31.

 

 

 

So now, let’s take that data and plot it on a linear model:

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Now that linear model is built, Rosie will need to create some feed data. You’ll see she’s simply created one that has $50,000 in sales and 50 in headcount. Then using the predict function, the linear model, and our feed data, Rosie is able to predict a $718 in spend on uniforms.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

So now, let’s go ahead and look at this from the SAP HANA side and view how this model can be integrated with BPC.

Below is the code that was built in R brought into Rosie’s BPC environment.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Rosie has built a calculation view that does a read of the exact same data that was in BPC. It’s reading in both the FEED data and SEED data and passing it along to the linear model and returning those results.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Now, when a data preview is generated, here are the results Rosie will receive.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

So how can Rosie get that into her BPC system? Now that she’s built a calculation view, Rosie can build a virtual provider in SAP BW on top of that view. The great thing about a virtual provider is it can expose your HANA views as info providers, meaning less change management, and the ability to integrate this data with your reporting tools.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Here Rosie can integrate this view with Analysis for Office and she will see what has been determined to be the predictive spend for those uniforms for those 4 months.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Now if Rosie is predicting to double in size that month, she can go ahead and double her numbers and save that back to BPC. When she calls the HANA view, it will now bring in the updated forecast data and recalculate it.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Another example is if Rosie wants to add another month, she’ll update her data to 100 employees and her first ever $100,000 sales month.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Once saved, the output of the view will update and Rosie can pull in the new data through Analysis for Office.

SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo
SAP Predictive Analytics Demo

Utilizing these predictive analytics, Rosie is now able to pull in real-time the BPC data, create the model, and better predict her uniform spend based on Historical Data.

To view the full demo of this solution, visit: https://youtu.be/ypXDtovbv4s

Tips for Planning in SAP BPC: How to bring External Pricing Data into SAP BPC

**This blog post is based upon content built and presented by JS Irick, Principal Consultant at TruQua Enterprises at the recent SAPinsider Financials conference in Amsterdam.

Lemonde Stand

In order to gain a truly unified view of plan data in BPC, SAP customers need access to a combination of data sources (both SAP and non-SAP). Examples of external data sources can include exchange rates for FX Scenarios, travel and spend systems for headcount planning, or in the case of this example external pricing data to forecast cost of goods sold. There are several challenges associated with managing data that are derived from multiple systems, such as lengthened forecast cycles, the need to create calculation and data entry errors, as well as the removal of oversight and insight into critical business processes.

Today, I’d like to walk through a simple Sales Planning example to help demonstrate how utilizing SAP BPC in conjunction with SAP Cloud Platform can help companies overcome these challenges.

This example is built off a simple scenario that we’ll call Rosie’s Lemonade Stand. Currently Rosie’s Lemonade Stand performs sales planning at the dollar level, however Rosie wants her brand managers to forecast sales at the Unit level. What Rosie is looking for is to take a more driver-based approach to sales planning.

Lemonde

By leveraging data from her Bill of Materials (BoM), the Cost of Goods Sold can be calculated for each product and in addition, a unit of measure conversion will allow sales forecasts to be reported on in different Units.

Rosie wants to leverage external pricing sources to calculate the Cost of Goods Sold. Here, we can see the sales planning for one of the lemonade stands by unit for the various products that Rosie sells. We want to use these products as a driver to calculate the raw materials expense for the upcoming month.

To do that we need to find a way to go from sales units to total raw materials price. In this case, we are going to use a simple Bill of Materials which has the various fractions of units used from the raw materials to make the finished goods.

Lemonde

To go from Raw Materials to Finished Goods, we’ll need to get the price of all the raw materials used. With regards to loading her price data into BPC Rosie has made the executive decision to utilize the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) to perform her data loads. This is SAP’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering which allows cloud-based applications to be created.

So how will SCP work? Well, Rosie buys her materials from Walmart, so she needs a way to access Walmart data and ask price questions to make sure her COGS calculations are accurate. Using SAP Cloud Platform, expense accounts will be populated for Materials in real-time, while only having to forecast sales. This allows the forecast to be immediately updated when prices change.  This can be easily accomplished using Walmart’s Open API. APIs are used to communicate with external systems. Generally, an API lets you Create, Read, Update, and Delete data on an external service.

Walmart Open API
SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Using SCP and the SAP HANA Cloud Connector, Rosie will be able to create cloud integration scenarios without providing access to her internal systems. By leveraging the SAP HANA Cloud Connector, only outbound communication from her BPC system will be required.

So now we have connected Rosie’s BPC instance to a feed from the Walmart API. This allows a safe, secure load into Rosie’s system. We’ve set up a service running on SCP and a cloud connector within Rosie’s data center, and Rosie is now able to reload the prices either on demand or part of a batch job. This allows her to get real-time insight into her costs based on that sales forecast.

Walmart Price Load

The next step is to update the price of the raw materials by connecting to the Walmart API.

Walmart Orange Price
Walmart Process Flow

As illustrated, once the pricing information is received, that data will flow into Rosie’s Bill of Materials to calculate COGs and from there into the Sales Planning Application.

Rosie’s sales numbers will now drive these updated Raw Materials cost, using those prices from Walmart.

Lemonde

To view a demonstration on how Rosie “Runs Smarter” by determining her raw materials cost based on unit costs in real-time, view the below video.

For more information visit TruQua Enterprises at www.truqua.com or follow us on Twitter at @TruQuaE.

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